A visit to BETT during the week for the first time in several years. Even bigger than it was last time, and strange to remember it as it was some 20 years ago – a crowd of enthusiasts and small start-up software developers showing their latest products on green baize-topped tables at the Barbican Exhibition Centre. Sadly though, bigger does not equal BETTer, and now it seems more and more that it’s the same old mega-companies selling the same old stuff that no-one really needs. This year’s big push, must-have, waste of money educational technology seems to be 3DTVs. Conspicuous by their absence though were hand-held mobile devices, which are surely the key technology of the future that might just attract and engage switched on, turned off learners.
Meanwhile the press reported the keynote opening speeches:
It’s good to see that Stephen Heppell is still making all the right noises, and promoting mobile devices. I particularly liked his reference to many schools still ‘doing a shiny version of 19th century teaching’, and the need for them to move away from what he calls ‘cells and bells’.
While I don’t think it matters too much if the average person in the street has not heard of Steve Jobs, it’s good to know they can still come up with some amusing alternative answers to some ‘don’t really need-to-know’ questions!